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Opinion: Congressman Paulsen Addresses Pending Fiscal Cliff Alarm

United States Congressman Erik Paulsen: "My top priorities are to stop the tax hikes set to take place on Jan. 1 and pass comprehensive tax reform so we can grow our economy and bring in more revenue to help get Washington’s fiscal house in or

The following is reprinted with permission from the Congressman Erik Paulsen report.

Working Across the Aisle to Avert the Jobs Cliff

There’s been a lot of talk in the news recently about the upcoming “fiscal cliff”—something I’ve been sounding the alarm bells about for months. Under current law, taxes are scheduled to increase on Jan. 1 for all Americans unless Congress takes action. This would be a significant hit to the economy, which is why I refer to it as a “jobs cliff.” There’s also a series of automatic spending cuts that will be imposed at year's end that many say should be altered to be more strategically targeted rather than simply imposed across the board.

My top priorities are to stop the tax hikes set to take place on Jan. 1 and pass comprehensive tax reform so we can grow our economy and bring in more revenue to help get Washington’s fiscal house in order. We also need real spending reductions and reforms that are targeted to address the drivers of our national debt, which now stands at over $16 trillion.

That’s why I’m working on a bipartisan framework to make the tax code simpler, fairer, and more competitive so we can help small businesses create jobs and get our economy moving again.

Increased Trade for Minnesota Jobs 

This week, the House passed a bill I cosponsored which extends permanent normal trade relations (PNTR) with Russia following its membership into the World Trade Organization (WTO) this past summer. This bill is important not only for Minnesota’s economy but, more importantly, for Minnesota jobs.

Last year, Minnesota exported $71 million worth of goods to Russia, which directly supported hundreds of jobs in our state. By passing this legislation, it will be much easier for Minnesota companies and workers to compete in Russia and sell made-in-Minnesota products to the Russian marketplace. Our medical technology companies will especially see new opportunities to sell innovative products and devices to the Russian healthcare market. 

Russia’s membership in the WTO will require it to further open its markets to Minnesota exports, protect intellectual property rights, and resolve problems through a rule-based dispute resolution system.

As the world’s 9th largest economy and with a growing middle class, Russia holds great potential for Minnesota job creators and workers to export more goods and services, and increase the 60,000 jobs in the state that are directly supported by trade.


Watch my floor remarks on PNTR HERE.

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